Easily accessible storage is needed for laundry supplies. Items such as detergent and fabric softener are used almost every time something is washed, and need to be easily reached when using the laundry equipment. Other laundry supplies, such as stain removers, special detergents, bleaches, and fabric fresheners, may be used less frequently, but still need to be convenient to the laundry equipment. Most of these items will fit on 8- to 10-inch (203 to 254 mm) deep shelves.
Storage in laundry areas is often placed over the laundry equipment. However, the depth of the washer or dryer reduces the height of the user’s reach. Bringing a shelf forward can make items more accessible, as long as they will not get lost at the back of extra-deep shelves.
Keep in mind that some laundry products, such as detergent, come in large containers that are heavy and/or awkward to lift. These items should not be stored above shoulder height (typically 52 to 57 inches; 1321 to 1448 mm). Finally, shelves above laundry equipment should not interfere with door openings or access to controls. For all these reasons, storage areas adjacent to, rather than above, laundry equipment may be more desirable for the most frequently used items.
Front-loading washers and dryers are available with pedestals that raise the machines 12 to 1 5 inches (305 to 381 mm) for easier access. Typically these pedestals are also drawers that provide additional storage (see Figure 9.14).
Other items may be stored in the laundry area, including hangers, clothespins, measuring cups for laundry products, stain removal guides, sponges, brushes, rags, and cleaning supplies. A divided drawer or small bins work well to collect items found in garment pockets or buttons that pop off. Some people keep basic sewing supplies in the laundry area so repairs can be made on the spot.
Open storage in the laundry area increases accessibility by making it easier to see stored items and eliminating cabinet doors that might not swing out of the way. However, the desirability of this depends on how open the laundry area is to view from other spaces in the home.
Laundry storage can be messy. Containers of detergents and other laundry products may drip when being used. Spills are inevitable. Storage areas, in fact all of the laundry area, should be made of durable, easily cleaned materials that are not damaged by exposure to water, detergents, and other laundry products. Vinyl, ceramic tiles, solid surface, and plastic laminates are popular materials used in laundry areas.